My mum was visiting me over this past weekend in Sydney which was just lovely. (I miss her already.) On Friday evening we went along to for dinner at some old family friends who we haven't seen for 7 years...of course I had to bake something to bring along!
We had been out to IKEA the day before and I had a very cool faceted cake tin that I had to use. I decided a bundt cake recipe would work best to get the forms nice, and luckily the lovely Donna Hay had a whole bundt feature in April/May (Issue 44).
I decided after much deliberation on a simple pistachio and almond cake with lemon juice & sugar. I was actually quite worried it was going to be a bit bland, but it was just divine. Why I ever doubted Donna!
Pistachio & Almond Cake
(modified from Donna Hay)
1/2 cup (70g) pistachios
1/2 cup (60g) almond meal
1/2 cup (75g) plain flour, sifted
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1/2 cup caster sugar, sifted
1 tbsp finely grated lemon rind
6 egg whites
175g butter, melted
1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice
1/4 cup caster sugar or icing sugar for dusting
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
Preheat oven to 180 degree celsius. Process the pistachios in a food processor; I use a small handheld nut/coffee grinder which works perfectly too.
In a mixing bowl, place the ground pistachios, almond meal, sifted flour, sugars & lemon ring. Whisk through to combine. Add the egg whites and melted (cooled slightly) butter and mix well to combine.
Pour the mixture into the cake tin that has been well greased (I use some melted butter for this.) Bake for 35-45 minutes. Because my cake tin was an uneven shape, the corners began to brown before the middle was even firm so I turned the heat down to 150 degrees and watched it to make sure it didn't burn around the edges.
Once cooled a little, turn onto a wire rack and allow to cool totally. To serve, mix the lemon juice, chopped pistachios and half the extra sugar in a small bowl. Drizzle and spread over the top of the cake, dust with extra sugar.
(It is fine to do this a few hours before serving as the juice soaks through the cake beautifully.)
Some things to note:
There is not much nutritional value in this little cake, but is lovely for a special treat.
I would have like to try to cut some of the butter out and use some applesauce, and perhaps some natural sweeteners. But didn't want to experiment on people I hadn't seen for 7 years!
I do believe you could make this gluten free if you just replaced the flour for some more almond meal as well.